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25G                                      TEBDICT  OX INDIA

the Cripps offer was the essence of everything a Fascists dictator-
ship could possibly desire. Xow it is too late—for as every dav
goes by the Muslim nation opens its eyes a little wider and the
Untouchables raise their heads a little higher. Most important of
alL more light floods the stage, and the world audience begins to
realize that the Indian drama is not quite as simple as it has been
persuaded to believe.

And yet—presumably—in one way or another, we shall quit.
Maybe m haste, which would be an unredeemed tragedy, maybe
in comparative leisure, which would at least give ourselves and the
world a chance to adjust itself to the^immense changes—racial,
strategic and economic—which our withdrawal will inevitably
entail.                              *

But whether it is to-morrow, or a day a little more remote, there
will be one sense in which the British will never quit In,dia, and
that i; a spiritual sense. With all our faults of Omission, and com-
missioi'j our occasional outbursts of temper, our frequent lack of'
imagination, we gave India peace, and it was not the peace of the
desert ; we gave India law, and it was not the law of the strong;
and—in the final judgment, we gave India liberty, for it wa"& the
ideals of Milton, of Locke, of Wilberforce, Mill, Bright and Glad-
stone that first kindled the Indian mind to an understanding of
what liberty really is. Long after we have left, the students of the
future will be opening the golden pages of the Areopagitica, and
thrilling, as all young men should thrill, to the revolutionary music
of Shelley. The ghost of Byron will brood in the quadrangles of
universities yet unbuilt, and in the council chambers there will be
heard the echo of the distant cadences of Burke. These thing we
gave to India, as we gave them to the rest of the world, and maybe
it is in India that they will have their finest flowering. ID, the
fulfilment of such a hope lies much of the future happiness of
Spring, 1944.